Notation A/V

Digital video and audio recorders have the potential to capture, study, measure, and understand both the ever-changing physical and ephemeral conditions of place. The capacities of this tool are found through the exploitation of its features, camera techniques, by embracing the camera as an extension of our body, and by understanding and rethinking our more common (architectural) drawing conventions via the camera itself. The A/V Mappings and Notations seminar/studio aims to merge the vocabulary of the video camera with the vocabulary of drawing as a way of exhausting and clarifying how we investigate, and what we investigate. Camera features such as zoom, focus, or fade and recording techniques such as stationary camera and panning are looked at individually and coupled with conditions of place such as intersection, boundary, threshold… The relationships between the isolated tool feature or camera recording technique and the specific condition of place are exhausted for their potential in revealing something unanticipated about both the place under investigation and the investigative tool.

Drawing conventions such as the section cut, perspective, and axonometric are researched and brought to video to influence the limitations and capacities of the camera through the sensibilities and conventions of architectural drawing.  By using this readily available tool critically yet intuitively, students develop creative and precise ways of understanding the camera as an investigative tool, develop the potential of rethinking or clarifying the meaning and capacity of drawing conventions through the use of the camera, and develop an understanding of our complex (physical and ephemeral) environment.

view Living Section video 1 – In addition to understanding the adjacencies of spaces, their configurations and relative proportions, we understand the fluctuation of programs that are happening across this section of the city over a period of time.

view Living Section video 2

view A Cross-Section video – The strip city moves as if pushed by the speed of the car.

view Inhabitable Section video  – The section-cut fluctuates between being a drawing and being a movie while being both.

view Section Slice video – “This study was linked directly to the design of a train station. It aided in juxtaposing a walking pace with the speed of the train approaching.”


A/V Mappings and Notations  – The students started by constructing, capturing, observing, and measuring a domestic activity at dawn and at dusk with the video camera as well as with photography and drawing. Time lapse, duration and speed were explored as revelatory of otherwise imperceptible moments. Camera features such as trail effect, night vision, exposure changes and filter were used to isolate or exaggerate the focus of the investigation. The 2-d studies were then reassembled as slivers of time that combined along an axis created a motion/space CAT scan – a 3-dimensional analog to the initial study. These were done via laser cut layers and 3-D pruning, both processes involving an assembly of layers. The third step transformed thees mapping into 4-dimensional inhabitable representation of the studies.

Measured Movement 00:47

Structural Breakdown of a Vertical Walk 01:30

A 2 ¼ Mile Run at Dawn 02:14

Displacement of Space by a Body in Movement 01:00

A Domestic Activity which Describes the Body 00:39

The Puppetry of a Living Space 00:24

Transient Hives 01:30 – view Energy Hives video

Inhabitable Drawings 04:20

Pixelation of Space as Directed by Movement 04:00

student work

view Living Map of Chicago assignment


Students: Mike Stopka, Christopher Lansiziera, Mason Edge, Jason Butz, Chen Fang and others.